Spruce Moth

Other Common Names: Spruce bud worm
Scientific Name: Choristoneura occidentalis

Trust me--this is not a bug you want to see a lot of. The larvae--spruce bud worms--can defoliate vast expanses of western forests. On the other hand, where there are a lot of them on the water, trout will eat them. So in the short term they're good for fishing, but in the long term they'll de-nude the trees that are essential to good stream health.

Spruce moths are not aquatic, but if there's an outbreak in a forest near a stream, some will get blown onto the water. They don't float very well, and once they're wet they have a hard time leaving the water.

An Elk Hair Caddis makes a decent imitation in tan colors. The moth's wings spread a little more than for caddis, so a broad wing shape is good. Also, the moths are on the large side. Use standard dry fly tactics.


COLOR: Mottled brown and tan

OTHER CHARACTERISTICS: Scales on wings; scales come off when rubbed

Click on the fly name to see the pattern. Click on the presentation to learn how to do it.